An upcoming Biden administration decision on a key pipeline could lead to widespread blackouts, Missouri-based power company Spire Energy warned in an email to customers.
The natural gas company that serves 1.7 million homes throughout Missouri, Alabama, and Mississippi emailed customers Wednesday that a federal review of the STL Pipeline could jeopardize their energy supply. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will discuss revoking the pipeline’s permit during a November 18 hearing.
“The STL Pipeline was built to support your energy needs, along with those of more than 650,000 homes and businesses in the St. Louis region,” Spire Energy President Scott Carter wrote in the email. Since 2019, this safe, fully operational pipeline has been bringing even more reliable and affordable natural gas to our community.” Carter continued in the email, “Unfortunately, while the STL Pipeline continues to operate today, it is now in jeopardy.”
The pipeline, that travels from Illinois to Missouri, received FERC approval in 2018 and began servicing customers in 2019, according to Spire. Shortly after the pipeline came online, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) sued FERC over its approval.
This year in June, a federal appellate court ruled in favor of the EDF, saying FERC didn’t adequately analyze the pipeline’s permit request years prior. The ruling prompted the current review.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that EDF alleged that Spire was fear-mongering to its customers by warning of blackouts. But Carter held a press conference Thursday, reiterating the threat posed by the FERC review.
Carter told reporters, “Our commitment has been to remain informative. “We’ve continued to highlight the importance of the pipeline,” rebutting the fear-mongering accusations, according to the Dispatch.
Carter added in an email to NBC affiliate KSDK-TV, “We don’t want to alarm customers, but we want to be transparent with everyone about the energy they rely on. Customers need to know that without the STL Pipeline in service during winter weather, the possibility of service disruptions and outages throughout the St. Louis area is very real.”
The STL Pipeline is allowed to continue operating until mid-December pending FERC’s decision, according to KSDK.
President Joe Biden has taken a hard anti-fossil fuel stance as part of his aggressive climate agenda since taking office. The White House revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit, halted an oil drilling project in Alaska and recently confirmed it was reviewing the possibility of shutting down a Michigan pipeline supplying much of Michigan.
Biden threatened ending fossil fuel usage in his campaign and in January appointed Rich Glick to chair FERC. In September he selected former Washington, D.C. Public Service Commission Chairman Willie Phillips to join FERC, giving Democrats majority control of the five-person commission.
At this point, hoping and praying for a mild weather may be the best option for this winter.